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The Wawa That the Pope Built

Philadelphia mayor promises Pope Francis “a Wawa hoagie of his choice”

PHILADELPHIA -- Pope Francis has a tasty sandwich awaiting him when he visits Philadelphia later this month!

Wawa’s new Philadelphia flagship convenience store

During the grand-opening celebration of Wawa’s new Philadephia flagship store on Friday, Philly Mayor Michael Nutter offered to buy the pope a free Wawa hoagie.

I'm pleased to announce that we expect to serve Pope Francis a Wawa hoagie of his choice,” Nutter said, according to a Philadelphia Enquirer report.

Wawa Inc. opened the flagship Philadelphia convenience store two months ahead of schedule to have it ready for Pope Francis’ visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

“Today’s the day, Philly customers,” Wawa posted on its FaceBook page Friday. “Our new store on the Avenue of the Arts is officially open, and we’re celebrating in a BIG way. See you there!”

With the doors opening to the public at 8 a.m., more than 50 customers lined the street of the new Center City store, according to the newspaper report. The store will serve the tremendous number of customers and visitors who will be in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families and the historic visit of Pope Francis, according to the c-store chain. The pope is scheduled to be in Philadelphia Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26 and 27.

The Center City Philadelphia store offers Wawa’s hometown customers its most progressive store design prototype to date, featuring more than 4,000 square feet of space and one-of-kind features not yet available in any other Wawa store. Highlights of the new store include:

  • Large corner entrance with bronze canopy
  • In-door bar seating along the windows, the first Wawa store to feature this option
  • Upscale cabinetry, counter tops and lighting
  • Wawa’s newest product offerings
  • Design features such as floor-to-ceiling glass
  • Special digital signs developed to support and showcase Wawa’s foodservice offer and commitment to the community

“During this significant occasion when the spotlight is on Philadelphia as the World Meeting of Families convenes and culminates with the visit of Pope Francis, we couldn’t be more excited to open our flagship Philadelphia store,” said Chris Gheysens, Wawa president and CEO. ”It truly is a fitting symbol of our commitment to serving our friends and neighbors and to continuing to invest in our hometown.

“At Wawa, we pride ourselves on being there for our communities around the clock and when they need us most, so we are thrilled to not only provide our hometown customers with our most unique store design and experience, but to open and be ready to serve the thousands of people who will be in Philadelphia during this historic time in our city’s history.”

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